5 Best Exercises to Get Stronger Knees

There are several exercises that can help strengthen your knees. (Photo by Pavel Danilyuk via pexels)
There are several exercises that can help strengthen your knees. (Photo by Pavel Danilyuk via pexels)

Knee exercises can potentially help strengthen every muscle that supports your knee.

They can also help enhance your mobility and reduce your chances of pain, weakness or injury. Doing exercises, particularly targeting your knees and the surrounding muscles, may offload unwanted pain in the knee joints by enhancing shock absorption through strengthened muscles.

The weakening of the knees can be due to several reasons, including:

  • Injuries
  • Inflammation of ligaments and tendons
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Overuse of the knees
  • Obesity
  • Osteoarthritis.

There are various home remedies to treat knee pain. However, if you experience sustained pain, you should see a doctor.

Exercises to get stronger knees

By incorporating these knee exercises, you can easily increase the strength of your knees.

1) Wall squats

A wall squat is an ideal knee exercise for strengthening your quad and glutes. You can perform either a wall squat for reps or a wall squat hold.

Here's how you do it:

  • Stand straight with your back against the wall, and keep your feet out.
  • Bend at your knees and hips till you get into a seated position. Make sure your knees are in a line with your hips, and ankles are under your knees.
  • To hold the squat, stay in this position for 20 seconds before coming up.
  • For reps, slide down the wall, and take a wall squat position.
  • Complete the desired number of repetitions.

2) Straight leg raises

A straight leg raise is an effective exercise for your quads that puts no strain on your knees.

Here's how you do them:

  • Lie straight on your back on a flat surface.
  • Bend your right knee, and place your right foot on the floor.
  • Keeping your left leg straight, lift it off the floor to the height of your opposite knee.
  • Repeat ten times for three sets.

3) Deadlift

Deadlifts are a great exercise that helps strengthen your glutes and hamstrings and also stabilise your knees so that they are stronger.

To do deadlifts:

  • Stand with your feet at a shoulder-width distance.
  • Keep your toes pointing out.
  • Hold a barbell with both hands.
  • Bend your knees slightly, and bend your body forward at your hips. Make sure to keep your back straight, and allow all the movement at your hips.
  • Stand back again, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings, and continue with the next rep.

4) Barbell squat

Barbell squats are also an effective exercise for your legs that also helps maintain longevity in your knees by strengthening the surrounding muscles, including your hamstrings and glutes.

To do this exercise

  • Stand with your feet wider than your shoulder distance. Hold a barbell across your back, and use an overhand grip. Don’t rest the barbell on your neck.
  • Place the bar across your traps so that it engages your upper back muscles.
  • Slowly lower your body into a squat, with your back straight and head up.
  • Continue to lower your body till your hips get aligned with your knees, and your legs get at a 90-degree angle.
  • To push yourself up, drive your heels into the ground, and explosively straighten your body up.

5) Lateral step down

A lateral step down is a quad-strengthening exercise that also helps stabilise your knees and keep them stronger.

To do this exercise:

  • Start with your right foot placed on a step. Your left foot should be hanging off the side of the step.
  • Take a few seconds to lower your body to the point that your left foot taps the floor.
  • Make sure to keep your right knee caved inwards and in a line with your left toe.
  • Switch legs, and repeat.

Aside from practicing these exercises, you can also do a few other things to help prevent pain and injury and get stronger knees.

Tips for maintaining stronger knees

  • Be physically active.
  • Perform low-impact exercises, such as walking or swimming.
  • Wear comfortable and good-quality shoes to get proper support during exercising.
  • Use a knee bandage or cap for extra support.
  • Perform stretches before and after workouts.
  • Increase the intensity of your workouts gradually.

When to see a doctor?

Performing the above-mentioned knee exercises should not lead to or cause pain.

However if it does, stop immediately, and rest for some time. Consult a doctor if you experience swelling, severe pain or inability to move your knee or knee clicks painfully.

Edited by Bhargav